Date of Publication
Background: Palliative care services remain under-utilized, even as evidence suggests that early palliative care leads to positive health outcomes, reduced ED visits, and substantial cost savings. Barriers include a lack of knowledge of palliative care services in the community, and under-utilization of validated assessment tools, including a symptom checklist. Aims of this project: 1. To determine whether the integration of validated community-based palliative care screening tool in an assisted living setting will identify older adults with unmet palliative care needs. 2. To determine if tool implementation could lead to a referral for palliative care consultation.
Methods: A screening tool developed by Brookdale-Weill Cornell Palliative Care Consortium was used to identify candidates for a consult. Using ACEP Palliative Care criteria, health records of 63 residents in an assisted living facility were screened. Nurses received palliative care education including use of the 22-item screening tool. Positive results were shared with primary care providers.
Results: Of the 31 residents screened, 45% screened positive, and 100% consented to referral to primary care providers for a palliative care consult. Inclusion of the screening tool in the new resident admission packet was a resulting practice change adopted by the facility.
Conclusions: Palliative care screening in assisted living facilities can increase palliative care consultation and utilization among older adults with chronic illnesses. Implications of utilizing this screening tool are: enhance quality of life for older adults living in assisted living facilities, empower older adult-community clinicians, and improve the coordination of care with primary care.
Crosby, Maria Delia, "Screening for palliative care services in an assisted living facility" (2020). College of Nursing and Health Sciences Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Project Publications. 48.
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